In a victory for open records, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled that reports of misconduct by teachers at state public schools and universities are public records to be released under the Freedom of Information Act.
Dr. Jay Lieberman of the University of Connecticut Health Center appealed a decision of the state Freedom of Information Commission ordering disclosure of reports concerning grievances filed against him. Lieberman asked the state Supreme Court to exempt from public disclosure any records that contain any form of performance evaluation.
In upholding the commission’s decision, the Supreme Court rejected that argument. Justice Dennis Eveleigh, writing for a unanimous court, stated:
“Conceivably almost all records relating to a faculty or professional staff member’s employment could include some form of evaluative content,” Eveleigh wrote. “Thus, to adopt Lieberman’s position would make the exception so broad that it would threaten to swallow the general rule of disclosure under the act, as it applies to university faculty and professional staff members.”